I picked about 8 gallons of nettles on Sunday.

When I go nettle-picking, I usually wear the same thin-ish full-fingered gloves I’ve been biking in most of the winter. Nettle stingers aren’t that long, so as long as I’m reasonably careful about grabbing from the undersides of the leaves, I don’t get stung. Much.

Figure 2: The author’s nettle-welted finger, the day after picking.

Okay, my fingers were tingling all day on Monday. It was a little uncomfortable. But it was totally worth it to avoid the clunkiness of trying to pick with thicker gloves, and to get the nettles.

I made a batch of soup (my nettle soup recipe: caramelize a couple of onions and a fennel bulb, deglaze with the pan with akvavit, then add stock, nettles, and buttermilk) and a nettle quiche for a celebratory spring dinner. I dried one dehydrator-load in order to make a batch of nettle-yogurt dip for a couple of upcoming potlucks (recipe for nettle dip: greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, MSG-laden onion soup powder, powdered dried nettles). I’ve got nettle tea to tame my hair’s flyaway wisps. There’s still some left for pesto, but it’s not going to be enough.

It’s time to find new foraging grounds.


  1. erica wrote:

    Wow, 8 gallons. I do somersaults and happy dances for a grocery bag full. This is what I get for a being a forager at 10,000 feet in dry Colorado, I guess. The soup recipe sounds yummy.

  2. Javi wrote:

    I lost my usual work gloves over many moves, so I picked up a pair of $10 thin-ish soft-ish flexible-ish work gloves from Lowe’s. No more stung fingers–tho it is a slightly sore consolation that my gloves were manufactured by forces of evil, as i suppose most things I consume are. Predictably I still managued to sting myself while hanging up some for drying. c’est la vie!

  3. cjm wrote:

    Rubber dishwashing-style gloves are by far the best in my opinion and the generic yellow ones I have can cover most of my forearms too. I think I’m starting to like the sting now though, at least in moderation.

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